Friday, February 22, 2013

Long time, no links. HOT LINKS lives.


Grand Central Station. December 2012. Photo by The Preservator
Holy Moses, has it been this long? Preservator readers - all three of you - I apologize. I have been cheating on you, writing for a certain Philly-centric online outlet. But, let's be real, I miss being here too. So let's not dwell in neglect, but push on where we left off.

Here are a few Friday HOT LINKS:

JFK's PanAm Worldport (now Delta Terminal 3) building is a goner [Atlantic Cities] To be fair, this once futuristic, jet-age wonder has seen better days, but what a bummer. savetheworldport.org
What's a tree worth? Maybe more than your house. [Next City]
Affordable LGBT housing for seniors in Philly's Gayborhood by Wallace Roberts Todd [A/N blog]
Why the Philadelphia Historical Commission won't process any nominations [Hidden City Daily]
Isn't it time to divorce Penn Station and Madison Square Garden? Kimmelman says yes. [NYTimes]
LPC designates 5 historic firehouses: Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace, Longwood, Rockaway Park, and Bathgate [A/N blog]
Grand Central Station at 100, a look at this beauty past and present [A/N blog]
 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Robert N. C. Nix, Sr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Philadelphia is not especially well known for its collection of Art Deco/Moderne architecture, but it is home to some real treasures of 1930s design. One of my favorites is the monumental Robert N. C. Nix, Sr. Federal Building and Court House, taking up half of the block along the western side of 9th Street between Chestnut and Market. The Nix building was constructed between 1937-1939 as a project of the Public Works Administration, a federal initiative to provide jobs and economic activity surrounding public construction projects as part of the nation’s recovery from the Great Depression.

The Nix building is a stylized Moderne structure built out of Indiana Limestone, with simplified classical design elements. The entrances to the Court House, on Market and Chestnut, are flanked by huge bas-relief granite sculptures depicting allegories of justice and the rule of law. My favorites, however, are the bas-relief sculptures along 9th Street showing postal carriers in different parts of the United States. 

For especially good interior photos of the post office and courts, visit the General Services Administration page for the Robert N. C. Nix, Sr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse.

All photos above by Preservator.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Roundup: Kimmel Center redesigns, Kensington's Visitation BVM Matters, PHA Property Disposal, SEPTA Goes Hybrid

Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center, 2009.           photo by Bob Jagendorf / flickr / creativecommons license.
Renderings for the BLT Architects redesign of the Kimmel Center's Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden have been released, revealing a more functional event space - check them out on the A/N blog.

West Kensington's beautiful, twin-spired Visitation BVM Catholic Church (built in 1879) is a finalist in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "This Place Matters" grant competition. The $25,000 prize would support Visitation's church, school, and community center. Vote for Visitaiton BVM here.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority is seeking nonprofit takers for more than 1,000 of its vacant properties, and will over more than 1,200 to the public at market rates. [Inquirer] 

SEPTA plans to install batteries along the Market-Frankford line to capture and store power generated as trains stop [New York Times Green blog].

Friday, June 10, 2011

Photo Friday: Hot Hot Heat + Hot Links

Seger Playground, Philadelphia. Photo by The Preservator.
Whoa nelly. Hot times. Don't forget that the City of Philadelphia has an interactive map designed to help you beat summer heat, showing swimming pools and cooling centers. Click here.

I really miss phillyskyline.com. Brad Maule, the man behind the lens and the words, returned to Philly briefly and posted a great photo essay of his trip on his new website, Maule of America, here. It makes me miss PhillySkyline even more.

Over at PhillyHistory, Shawn Evans posted about the prevalence of the city's neighborhood movie theaters. The pictures of these lost picture palaces are fantastic.

According to the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, The Future Begins Now. This week the commission adopted the Philadelphia 2035 Citywide Vision this week. If you're up for the long read, download the full thing here, or the summary here. Inga sums it up in this week's Changing Skyline.

Travel Postcards: Pittsburgh, Santa Barbara, and Catskills

In the last month, I went to Pittsburgh twice, zipped west to California, and drove up to the Catskill mountains. More on Philly soon. Meantime, here are some postcards from my travels.

Clayton, Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh, PA. Photo by The Preservator
In Pittsburgh I visited Clayton, the centerpiece of the Frick Art & Historical Center - a Victorian jewel built for Henry Clay Frick.  History does not recall Frick kindly as an industrialist. (Recall the blood shed on his orders during the Homestead Steel strike in 1892.)  But, Frick is well-regarded for his vast art collection and as a museum benefactor. At home, Frick was a man of style. Clayton, is a delightful Victorian pile in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The house is a museum with original furnishings and objects intact and offers a portrait of how swells like the Fricks lived in Pittsburgh. Beautiful gardens, a really good cafe, and a free museum round out the five-acre complex.

Santa Barbara, California. Photo by The Preservator
 Oh, California. Land of my youth! It was a quick visit for a family occasion, but I still managed to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean and watch dolphins playing near the shore. I stand by my conviction that the Pacific is superior to the Atlantic. Sorry.

Photo by The Preservator
Palms to pines. This is the lake in the Catskills where my grandmother lives. It's the most beautiful place I know.